The Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) customers who are still reeling from the recent hike in minimum excess charge face new worries for the future following a decision by the insurer to scale back on benefits.
BIC was this week facing a backlash of customers who are unhappy with the new deal that also make it difficult for customers to take their vehicles to panel beaters of their choice.
Sunday Standard is in possession of correspondence between BIC and some of its customers who are unhappy with the new development.
BIC recently signed a new service level agreement with panel beaters binding them to use second hand parts for vehicles older than three years. There were fears among some BIC customers, especially with vehicles that are on a five year motor plan that the new agreement may clash with manufacturers warranty standards.
BIC customers will also lose out on the wide choice of panel beaters currently enjoyed by customers of competing insurance companies. So far, only 25 panel beaters have signed the agreement throughout the country and BIC is forcing its clients to use only those that have signed the agreement.
Indications are that the criteria for appointing the BIC panel of panel beaters will flare up into another controversy.
Industry insiders believe that the recent move by BIC underlies the cash crunch faced by short term insurance companies, which are now moving towards cutting back on quality to push up their profits.
This is given credence by a provision in the agreement which binds panel beaters to giving BIC discount based on the volume of business they bring.
The agreement comes only a year after the only Botswana short term insurance company, General Insurance Botswana (GIB) was liquidated following cash flow problems.
BIC Managing Director, Dziki Nganunu could not be reached for comment.